MOOC Policies »

How do I obtain a UNU-INWEH certificate of completion?

UNU-INWEH certificates of completion are allocated on a pass/not pass basis along the following criteria:

  • All assignments completed (passed)
  • Golden ELD Badge received
  • Completion of the final team project (passed) at the end of the course
How do I obtain a badge?

Badges are awarded for active participation in the course. Active participants will receive badges by week or for community activities. These add up to the Silver and the Golden badge. The Golden Course Badge is a prerequisite for the certificate awarded by the UNU-INWEH at the end of the course. For more details

What happens if I have to take a break during the course?

You can always take a break and return later to access the course content and keep on contributing to the MOOC discussions and activities. You may still be awarded an ELD badge if your activity rate reaches a certain point, and a UNU-INWEH certificate of completion if you manage to meet all the requirements within the set deadlines.

What happens if I do not manage to meet the deadlines?

Unfortunately there will be no extensions made possible.

What deadlines do I have to be aware of?

There are four team assignments which are due at the end of Weeks 2, 4, 5, and 7. Please check the course calendar for the exact dates.

Do I have to submit all of the assignments?

You do not have to submit any assignments if you do not wish to. If you have limited time to participate but still want to learn more about the ELD Initiative and options and pathways to action and stakeholder engagement, you are most welcome to participate and contribute to the MOOC. There are no small contributions! However, you have to complete and pass all of the assignments in order to obtain a UNU-INWEH certificate of completion at the end of the course.

Do I have to participate in all of the activities?

No, it is not mandatory to participate in all of the activities if you do not wish to. If you have limited time to participate but still want to learn more, you are most welcome to participate and contribute to the MOOC. However, to maximise your learning, it is strongly advised you undertake and successfully complete as many activities as possible. A certain number of activities need to be completed to be awarded an ELD Badge or a UNU-INWEH certificate of completion at the end of the course.

Can I join the course after it has already started?

You are always welcome to join and contribute to the course after it starts. However, you may not be able to fulfill all required activities to obtain an ELD badge or a UNU-INWEH certificate of completion at the end of the course.

Do I have to pay a course fee?

No, participation and access to the course are absolutely free of charge.

What are the prerequisites for participation?

The goal of this course is to transfer stakeholder engagement knowledge to land users and decision-makers, with a strong economic focus. A background in economics is desirable but not required. Everybody who wants to protect our soils and make a difference in the future of our natural resources is welcome to join in. The only prerequisite for participants is to have an interest in improving current land management and addressing some of the most important challenges facing the world’s population in the next few decades. The ELD Initiative warmly invites all (future) professionals, decision-makers (public and private), and researchers interested or already involved in the topic to participate.

Who can participate?

The ELD MOOC is open to anyone with an interest in Options and Pathways to Action, and Stakeholder Engagement, with the aim to prevent or reverse land degradation with sustainable land management. We are expecting participants to be practitioners from the field, academics, public service employees, activists, journalists, and business owners, amongst others. This diversity in backgrounds, professional experiences, and career aspirations, is the basis of encompassing learning, as participants will be able to work together and discuss the different perspectives and basic concepts of stakeholder engagement. Ultimately, this MOOC is designed to build a strong, diverse community for sustainable land management.

Proceeding of the MOOC »
How will the work of each group member be graded?

Neither the certificate nor the assignments will be graded, but instead will be marked as a ‘pass‘ or ‘not pass‘. To receive the UNU-INWEH certificate, we require a certain level of activity during the course that will be indicated by badges awarded, active contributions to all assignments, and the final team project. In case of doubt, the tutors will check individual contributions of a participant.

How can I contact the online and expert tutors?

You may contact the tutors via their profile pages: Claudia Musekamp and Ali Salha are the online tutors for this MOOC. Please use the Forum for general questions, so that others can benefit from the knowledge and dialogue around the question.

When and how are the teams formed?

Participants are asked to join a team upon entering the course. Participants are allowed to start their own team.

When are the live events taking place?

All live-events will be taking place on Wednesdays at 13:00 UTC +2hours (Germany: 15:00 pm). Click here to see your local time. The link to the event platform will be published prominently on the site and mailed in the newsletter.

How will the course be structured?

This course consists of 8 units. The course will take place over a period of eight weeks from May 5 – June 29, 2015. Please read more about the expected outcomes and objectives.


Code of Conduct

In order to be successful, the MOOC highly depends on its participants. It is our highest priority to build a community of learners in which everybody supports each other, and everybody feels free to share ideas and opinions. We are convinced that sharing diverse perspectives from people from all over the world with different backgrounds will enhance the productivity and richness of the course. To ensure this, every participant has to keep in mind and is expected to act in a responsible way, following these rules:

  • Every participant uses only one account and all information he/she provides about him-/herself is correct.
  • Participants will only make contributions that are a result of their own creativity and their own work (except for assignments that explicitly demand collaboration with others).
  • If participants use the work or part of the work of others, they will make a clear reference to the original source.
  • Participants will not engage in activities that dishonestly improve their own results or improve or hurt the results of other participants.
  • Participants will respect opinions of others and try to always behave and respond in a polite and proper way.
  • Participants will not spread or pass any kind of content or material harming or discrediting others, violating the right of others or encouraging illegal activities.
  • Participants will not use the MOOC to advertise or sell products or services.
  • Participants will respect the rights and privacy of others.
  • If participants have to evaluate or grade each other they will do so in a respectful manner, explaining their reasons and stressing positive aspects as well as areas that could use improvement.

Anyone believing that someone has violated this code of conduct can notify the online tutors, Claudia Musekamp and Ali Salha.

Can I access the course content after the course has finished?

The course material will be published under a creative commons license and will be open to the public. However, postings, profile settings, and the work performed by the teams will remain confidential, and only available for three months after the course for those who have registered (e.g., teams which have been created by participants are owned by those who created them and others who accepted requests to join in).

How can I unregister from the course?

As it is an open course, there is no need to unregister.  However, we would appreciate if you would post a good bye message in your team and the forum or send us a feedback e-mail. Please notify us if you wish to be removed from the participants list.

Who is involved in the MOOC and what role does everyone play?

The ELD initiative: This MOOC was established by the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative. The ELD team will hold live-events and share their experience on the economics of land degradation and sustainable land management with you. Expert Tutors: There are expert tutors who will provide input throughout the course. They will hold live-events, answer your questions and be part of the evaluation of the assignments.  A list of the other expert tutors is available hereOnline-Tutors: Claudia Musekamp and Ali Salha are the online tutors for this course. They are responsible for the development of the instructional design of the ELD MOOC and will be available to answer questions related to the course concept and organization details. Please do not hesitate to post your questions to the main forum.

Who is organizing the MOOC?

The MOOC is organized by the ELD Initiative, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).

Can I change to another team?


What are the teams for?

The combination of team and individual work enhances the depth of understanding of the material. The combination of the two addresses different learning dimensions as acquisition, experience, application, and reflection. It is therefore our hope to create a more profound learning experience by having participants work in teams.

What kind of assignments do participants have to submit?

There are a number of team assignments which need to be done to receive a certificate for this course. You will be able to choose your group to perform the team assignment, following your interests.There are also two individual assignments.

What level of English do I need?

Even though the MOOC is offered in English, we would be happy to have many languages and nationalities represented in it. Non-native English speakers should be able to read the texts in English and follow conversations and video lectures. Questions to tutors should be asked in English. If you have trouble understanding some terms, you can always use an online translator (e.g., Google Translate, wordreference.com), adjust the video speed, or start a study group for speakers of your native language.

Is participation in the live events mandatory?

It is highly recommended to take part in the live events, so that you can ask the expert tutors specific questions, and thus maximise what you will get out of the course. However, if you cannot attend the live event, you will be able to watch a recording of the webinar after, when it is convenient for you.

What kind of workload should I plan for?

In order to meet the requirements and successfully follow the course, participants should plan with a workload of a minimum of 3-4 hours per week.

Technical Requirements »
How can I participate in the Webinars and Live Events?

For the webinars, we use a tool called Saba Centra. This tool offers a platform for for presentations, video- and audio transmission, chats, and polls. You will find a link to this tool on the course website and in the emails you will receive from us after registering. Simply click on the link to enter the webinar room. Please note that the technical requirements might turn out tricky! It is advised that you test your system beforehand, as it will be to late to sort out problems once the webinar is about to start. To participate in the webinar you must have the following:

  • Java installed;
  • a functioning headset; and
  • a reliable internet connection with Internet LAN-Cable. WiFi or WLan sometimes doesn´t offer a stable connection.

Click here to test your system! You might download here a quick guide on the use of the system. You’ll find more information on the Saba Meeting on the YouTube Channel of GIZ Global Campus.

What format is the course given in?

The course is made available as Massive Open Online Course on the platform Global Campus 21. You need an e-mail account in order to register for the course content. Please be aware of spam filter problems if you are using a webmail account or possible firewall filters if you are working on an office computer. The course content is made available to you in form of PDF documents when the course starts, live-events run by expert tutors, quizzes for self-assessment, and pre-recorded videos as the course progresses. You will be working in a team and use collaboration tools to jointly work on a final team project.

How can I get help with technical problems?

Check the FAQ or use our Contact and Support Form.

What kind of internet connection do I need for successful participation?

Internet connection: Minimum 56K modem (cable or DSL recommended) You ideally need a reliable internet connection and have at least 1 Gb of free memory/RAM to take part in the live-events held on the online conferencing platform of the GIZ.

What kind of hardware do I need for successful participation?

You need a computer to access the course material, participate in forum discussions, and turn in your assignments. You will also need a reliable internet connection.

Can I use mobile technologies for course participation?

The course is web-based and would not work on basic phones. On Tablets and smartphones, the webpages should automatically adopt to the size of your screen. However, as there are texts to read it might be difficult to follow on a smartphone.

What kind of software do I need for successful participation?

The course pages can be accessed with all common operating systems such as Windows XP, VISTA, 7, with Tablets or a Mac, etc.. To watch the videos, you will need a video player or the relevant add-on in your browser. Office software and standard applications such as MS Word and Excel are also advisable. In order to open a PDF document, you need a PDF reader software (e.g., Adobe Reader, Foxit Reader, Nitro PDF Reader, PDF-XChange Viewer), which might already be installed on your computer or included in your web browser. If not, you will need to download and install a PDF viewing software of your choice. To attend a webinar/live event, please check the following requirements.

My Login-Account does not work, how can I reset my password?

In your first e-mail after registration you got a link to change your password. In case you did not notice or have forgotten, simply click on the text “Forgot your password?

What kind of computer skills do I need for successful participation?

You should be able to download and install software on your computer in order to be able to participate in all of the activities. You need to be able to manage different browser windows and to download material. Being familiar with the use of social media on the internet would be an advantage. You may use Microsoft Office and/or statistical software packages if you wish.

Content »
Do the videos have subtitles?

No, sorry.

What do I need to watch the videos?

The videos are made available on ELD’s Youtube Channel and posted here in the course website as well. You will need internal or external loudspeakers in your system and a stable Internet connection. If the video of the frontpage works, then everything should be okay for viewing.

Can I download the videos?

All videos are available via our YouTube Channel, and unfortunately, it is not possible to download them.

Registration »
How and where can I change my personal profile data?

For this MOOC,  please got to MY MOOC > MY PROFILE. There you will be able to change or add to your profile. Changing the profile on the MOOC-site will not change your profile on the GC21 Global Campus.

Does my profile data change in my GC21 account too?

No. Changing the information in MY PROFILE does not change the profile on GC21.

My Login-Account does not work, how can I reset my password?

In your first e-mail after registration you got a link to change your password. In case you did not notice or forgot, simply click on the text “Forgot your password?“, found to the right of the login button:

Are there different language settings?

The system language adapts to your operating system (e.g., if your operating system is set to German the dialogue windows might appear in German although the course pages and postings etc. are in English)

Certification »
What can I do with my ELD badge?

A digital badge is an equivalent to traditional physical badges, and allows you to display your skills and accomplishments. This may help you with your future career and education opportunities. Your ELD badge shows your activity level during the MOOC.

Will there be a grade on my certificate?

No, there will be no grade on your certificate.

Will I be getting a hard copy of my certificate?

No, hard copies will not be handed out. However, you might print out the document if you wish.

What can I do with my certificate?

The certification is a demonstration of your successful completion of this online course, and can be used to enhance your career options, put into a job application, or application for college/university.